School officials report theft of model jet

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Clovis High School security cameras recently caught two people in the act of stealing a 1/8-scale model of an F-16 mounted in front of the school.

But the culprits haven’t been caught and the plane is still missing.

Principal Wayne Marshall discovered the theft while taking a walk around campus the morning of Aug. 17.

“It’s still a mystery,” Marshall said, explaining faces of the suspects can’t be seen on the survelliance video.

Col. Philip Frazee, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps coordinator at the high school, told police the model is worth $2,500. That makes the theft something more than a prank — now it’s a felony.

Clovis police Capt. Patrick Whitney said the model was made by Martin-Marietta in Fort Worth, Texas and police are waiting a final value for the plane.

Whitney said police are looking at a few “people of interest” based on information gathered from the investigation.

Marshall said the model was on loan to the school from Lockheed Martin. He said the plane was previously mounted in front of the F-16 squadron at Cannon Air Force Base. Frazee worked to bring the model to CHS after the F-16s moved.

There is a $700 reward for the recovery of the plane or conviction of those responsible.

“But at this point, we would like the F-16 back in whatever condition it is in. If we don’t get it back, we will go to the extent that the law will allow us to,” Marshall said. “If we could simply get it back, we wouldn’t be as apt to go after them in full force.”

Anyone with information can call Curry County Crime Stoppers at 763-7000.